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Reply with quote  #1 
I am an American, my husband is Russian and we live in the USA. I cannot speak Russian and so I only speak to my 10 month old daughter in English. My husband only speaks to her in Russian (we speak to each other in English around her) but he works during the day and only sees her about 2-3 hours in the evening M-F and all day on weekends.

Is this enough Russian for her to grow up speaking two languages?
Bilingual For Fun
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Jessica,

I read (Raising a Bilingual Child by Zurer) that the bare minimum exposure a child needs is around 15 hours a week, but preferably once should aim for at least 25 hours a week. I think you should also consider that bilingualism happens in difefrent forms, passive bilingualism is not to be underestimated at all.

In short, my answer would be yes.
And if I can add something, I think two things could help:
1) make the time your husband spends with your daugther quality time, with lot's of talking and reading
2) try to learn russian yourself, I think if always pays off to speak one's partners language.



Reply with quote  #3 
Dear Letizia,

Very good advice, thank you. I will read that book.

I know simple phrases in Russian but I should probably try to learn enough to carry on a simple conversation. Our situation, 2 parents speaking 2 different languages, seems like such a good opportunity to raise our child bilingual that I don't want to pass it up.

I will push to get my husband and daughter to have a lot of quality time on the weekends to make sure she gets exposed to the correct number of hours of Russian.

Thanks again for the great reply1


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